District Diversity and Superintendents of Color

Theodore J. Kowalski, University of Dayton

This piece is a recurring feature in School Administrator magazine. Archived issues are available on the magazine's website. To read the issue in which this piece appeared, click here >>>.


While the number of superintendents of cqlor increased from 5 percent to 6 percent during the past decade, their representation remains well below their numbers in the general population. Data from the most recent AASA superintendency study show that the greater the levels of minority students and minority residents, the greater the likelihood the district has a superintendent of color. However, an inverse association existed between the percentage of the district's minority employees and a superintendent of color. Only about one in five superintendents of color was employed in a district having a majority of employees of color. This finding, though, should be weighed in light of the fact that only 2.3 percent of the districts included in the study had a majority of minority employees. In this vein, the underrepresentation reflects a larger problem, the underrepresentation of educators of color.